2 Mar 2016 IMU Psychology Alumnus Benefits from a Malaysian and Australian Education
Chan Kay Lynn joined the IMU in 2011 and studied the first three years of her psychology degree at the University. She then transferred to University of Newcastle (UoN), Australia in July 2014 to obtain her degree in psychology from the University, the first student to enter this pathway. She recalls fondly of her experience studying in these two universities.
I can still remember my first day in IMU. When Mr Alexius Cheang came into the lecture room to get to know us better, his first question was: “Who is that student who chose the credit transfer programme to Australia?” I lifted my hands up and excitement turned into surprise when I realised I was the only one. It was both amusing and scary.
I studied in IMU for 3 years. The credit transfer programme works as such that I complete my 3-year Psychology degree in Malaysia, but I extend another 1.5 years in the University of Newcastle Australia (UoN) to obtain a degree from there. The credit transfer option made sense to me because in my opinion, that is the economical option to experience an overseas education. An extra 1.5 years of study would be worth it for the knowledge, experiences, new friends and connections that I make.
Throughout my time in IMU, the lecturers were nothing but brilliant, supportive, kind, generous and helpful. Lessons were fun and being in a small batch of 12 students, were also personal. The lecturers knew each of us by name, and our relationship was really strong. The framework of IMU has helped a lot in my development as a psychology student. From the beginning, most lessons were theory based, and we were supported a lot by our lecturers. As we move to subsequent semesters, we proceeded to be exposed to practical applications, such as simulated counselling, case studies in tutorials, internships and practical-structured questions in exams. We learnt and familiarise ourselves with the concepts and theory first, then apply them, to have a complete understanding of what is taught.
During my internship in Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Penang, I observed theories in Clinical Psychology that I learned in IMU being applied in real life and applying some of it by myself too. I am thankful because this opportunity was provided by the Head of the Psychology Department at that time who told us about the opening and helped in the application process.
As for my final year project, my thesis supervisor was Mr Alexius Cheang, who in the midst of his jam-packed schedule, still met up with me from time to time, supported me and gave me encouragement to get me through any hiccups in my project.
When it was time for me to head to Australia, I knew that IMU has prepared me well to face Australia alone. Thank God, the lecturers in UoN were just as brilliant. I did struggle at the beginning trying to adapt to their tougher and stricter education standards. IMU has thought me well in coping with stress and problems. After some time, I finally managed to settle into their education system. Having done multiple presentations back in IMU, I had little problem presenting in UoN.
My time spent in Australia was an eye-opener. Their education system encourages students to think outside of the box, have open discussions in classes, and sometimes debates (which can be amusing) between the lecturer and students. I was thought to question everything and being surrounded by intelligent students have pushed me to be better than I ever thought I could be. Besides that, my thesis supervisor in UoN was very helpful and made a point to meet up with his supervisees once every week to check on them. He is very intelligent and I learned a lot from his great insights.
All in all, I made a lot of good friends, learned about different cultures, gained vast knowledge and experiences and even travelled a bit. I had a great time.
During my summer break, I decided to intern in a consulting company to expose myself to Organisational Psychology. I interned in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia for two months in the Human Capital Department, and found my passion and interest there. Upon graduating from UoN, I applied back into PwC and am now working as an Executive in the Learning and Development Department. I work closely with the Development Consultants who develop and formulate training, to carry out training and courses for PwC employees.
Indeed my experience in IMU has played a major role in my education in Australia and the combination of education from both universities has been very helpful in my pursuit to be an all-rounded Psychology graduate. I get the best of both worlds. For this, I am thankful.